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The thermostat on a Toyota RAV4 is located inside the engine coolant container. To reach the thermostat, open your hood and locate the coolant filler cap. Open the cap and then drain enough coolant so that the coolant level is below the thermostat housing. You should be able to identify the thermostat as a circular cap attached to the inside of the coolant container
It is at the engine end of the upper radiator hose. In the picture below it is number 15, below the thermostat cover, number 13 and gasket, number 14. This is a picture of your 1996 Toyota RAV4 cooling system.
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Follow the top of the largest hose from the radiator to the intake manifold. In most cases, the thermostat will be located on the front of the block just before the intake manifold. Look for a bulbous aluminum or steel connector to which the hose will connect via hose clamp. Inside that apparatus will be the thermostat. Should be two bolts on either side of the hose and the connector will come off. Because of the heat produced, you may have to pry it off, but it should come off easily. Make sure to replace the gasket and use permatex to seal it properly. Ten minute job once you find the location
Its on the front of the engine block under the alternator. Follow the lower radiator hose til it meets with the block, you have to take that hose off of the block and the thermostat is inside mounted to the block. When you replace you'll want to replace the gasket too.
This is general for toyota. There is a 10mm hex screw on the side of transfer case more than likely next to firewall. Remove it and drain case. The refilling is done through the transmission dipstick tube. Jack up vehicle with porper jack stands before going under. Best of luck.